Chicago, IL—Investment bank and financial advisory firm Brown Gibbons Lang & Company (BGL) announced the sale of Starwest Botanicals to Incline Equity Partners. Prior to the acquisition, Starwest was one of the largest independently owned, vertically integrated, value-add processors and suppliers of organic botanicals, herbs, and spices in the U.S., with nearly 200,000 sq. ft. of modern warehouse and production space, according to a press release from BGL
Founded in 1975 as a small retail shop in Sacramento, CA, Starwest focused on selling quality botanicals, herbs, and spices at competitive prices. Seeking better control over processing and quality control, Starwest evolved. Recalling the early days in a letter on the company’s website, Van Joerger, Founder/President of Starwest Botanicals, wrote, “We grew rapidly on the strength of our commitment to provide value through a combination of quality products, excellent customer service, and fair prices. In 1979, we built our first herb mill to have better control over the processing of our herbs. In 1980, we began importing herbs from several different countries and supplying manufacturers and wholesalers. We also began supporting the fledgling organic herb industry in 1980. In 1983, Starwest was named to Inc. magazine’s list of top 500 fastest-growing private companies.”
BLG reports that Starwest is uniquely positioned as a full-service provider due to its extensive global supplier network, international organic import expertise, in-house quality control testing, and customizable processing and packaging capabilities. The company serves as a one-stop-shop solution to a diversified base of more than 10,000 customers, according to the release, with access to more than 3,000 SKUs in various forms (whole, cut, powder, etc.) and packaging formats (bulk, wholesale, and single-serve).
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BGL’s Food & Beverage investment banking team served as the exclusive financial advisor to Starwest in the transaction. The specific terms of the transaction were not disclosed.